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Arizona Physician Named 2009 Family Physician of the Year
Dedication to serving those most in need draws respect and admiration
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
American Academy of Family Physicians
(800) 274-2237 Ext. 5222
Ellert is currently the project director and chairman of the board for Circle the City, a non-profit organization devoted to assisting the ailing homeless in Maricopa County, Ariz. One of Circle the City’s focal projects is to open a recuperative care center in Phoenix, which will aim to close the gap between the hospital and the street by establishing a place where hospitals can safely and appropriately discharge their homeless patients.
Ellert’s interest in medicine dates back to high school when he worked as an orderly in a nursing home. In a rather unique career journey, he began his professional medical training as a nurse and nurse practitioner before attending medical school where he chose to specialize in family medicine.
Ellert has dedicated his entire career to serving those most in need. This commitment was established early on when he lived and worked with the Franciscan Brothers and Sisters. He states that it was the Franciscans who taught him that “the poor should never be treated poorly” and assisted in the opening of a shelter caring for homeless men and women with AIDS.
Ellert takes his calling to heart by extending his commitment beyond his administrative duties to providing hands-on patient care to the homeless and others in need, sometimes even by the side of the road. He is admired and respected by his colleagues for treating all patients equally and as if they were members of his own family. He considers it a privilege to provide medical, spiritual and emotional support to those who need it most.
Seven years ago, Ellert developed a fellowship program for Maricopa Integrated Health System entitled “Advanced Hospital Training for Family Physicians.” Graduates of that program continue to provide a broad spectrum of high quality care to underserved populations in rural and academic settings. He most recently accepted the position of associate director of the Family Medicine Residency Program at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix, where he will continue his efforts to promote the specialty of family medicine, enhance the skills of physicians in residency and provide high-quality medical care to all those he encounters. Additionally, Ellert serves as a clinical assistant professor for the Family and Community Medicine Department at the University of Arizona-Phoenix, where he also lectures on the topic of medical themes in film.
Ellert further demonstrates his commitment to the community by serving on the South Phoenix Regional Partnership Council of First Things First, which is a state-wide Arizona initiative to address the health, social and developmental needs of children aged 0 through 5 years. He currently serves on the advisory board for Maricopa County Health Care for the Homeless and is a past board member of Phoenix Memorial Hospital. Additionally, Ellert is the former president of the medical staff, and former chair of family and community medicine at Maricopa Integrated Health System.
Ellert has received many awards and accolades, including Arizona Academy of Family Physicians Family Physician of the Year (2008), Maricopa Integrated Health System Physician of the Year (2007) and the University of Arizona Family Physician Teacher of the Year (2003). He is viewed as an exemplary role model by all who work with him.
Dr. Ellert completed his family medicine residency at the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview (formerly known as the University of Minnesota Riverside Medical Center) in Minneapolis, and earned his medical degree from the Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine in Rootstown, Ohio. He received his undergraduate degree in nursing from Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and his master’s degree in nursing from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. He also has the AAFP Degree of Fellow, an earned degree awarded to family physicians for distinguished service and continuing medical education.
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Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 110,600 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.
Approximately one in four of all office visits are made to family physicians. That is 240 million office visits each year — nearly 87 million more than the next largest medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America’s underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care.
To learn more about the specialty of family medicine, the AAFP's positions on issues and clinical care, and for downloadable multi-media highlighting family medicine, visit www.aafp.org/media. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website, www.FamilyDoctor.org.
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